Can Clint Bowyer achieve a road-course sweep?

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 11, 2012 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 11, 2012 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Watkins Glen is vastly different from Sonoma, where Clint Bowyer triumphed in June, but Bowyer has shown enough speed in his Sprint Cup car this weekend that a sweep of NASCAR’s road courses wouldn’t be out of the question.

“It’s a different beast here — quite a bit different, I think,” Bowyer said. “When I go to Sonoma, it seems real technical, kind of like a short track of road racing, really.

“We come here and I struggled a bit in years past. We got better last year. I’m looking forward to it. We have that same race car we won with.”

Indeed, Bowyer, in his first season with Michael Waltrip Racing, is driving the same car he ran at Sonoma, one of the No. 47 Toyotas built by MWR for Marcos Ambrose when Ambrose was driving for JTG/Daugherty Racing.

Yes, Ambrose, now in a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, is the odds-on favorite to repeat last year’s winning performance at the Glen, but Bowyer can’t be discounted, even though he has posted one top-10 and led but one lap in six starts at the 2.45-mile road course.

The race is pivotal for Bowyer, who can secure a spot in NASCAR’s 10-race playoff for the Sprint Cup with top-10 finishes in the next five races before the Chase field is set at Richmond. Bowyer is 10th in the standings, 57 points ahead of two-time winner Kasey Kahne in 11th.

“I’ve just got to stay solid,” Bowyer told the NASCAR Wire Service. “Those single-digit finishes are going to be plenty good enough. You just can’t have the catastrophic day. We can afford to have one, but we can’t afford to have two. . . .

“Just got to get through here, keep the thing on the race track, take care of the gearbox and do the things that we do each and every week. It’s just more difficult to do on these road courses.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.